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My Summer Plans

Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags

So. Making plans is weird this summer, amirite?

But summer is here, my kids are officially out of school, and I want to have a great time while also being sensitive and respectful of the current semi-holding pattern we are in as a nation with regards to health and safety. There are so many opinions on what is the best way to conduct ourselves this summer, and I really believe that people have to respect the guidelines at a minimum, but ALSO factor in their own comfort levels as a family. 

As in, it’s fine if the guidelines support 25 person gatherings outside, but if your family doesn’t feel comfortable with that, it is really ok not to participate!

I’ve been amazed by how respectful the people around me are being about understanding that everyone has their own comfort level as our communities ease back in to a “new normal” with COVID. I don’t think any individual or family should feel pressured to return to more normal mechanisms of socializing if they don’t feel safe and ready. 

Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags
Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags
Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags

This summer, we had lots of fun things planned including travel, camps, and parties. I’ve decided to put the kibosh on all of that. 

I was going to travel up to Maine to spend the week at our family home that we normally enjoy in July, and that is the only thing I’m thinking about keeping on the schedule.  Since it’s our family home, I’m able to wait until the last moment to decide and that can give me some time to do research and see what the landscape of the virus is like as we get closer. I know that Maine has some pretty specific rules in place for people coming in out of state, so those will factor in as well! 

Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags
Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags
Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags

So what WILL we be doing? A lot of staycation time! I’m very fortunate to have a big yard for my kids to play in, and a beach close by to visit.  While it’s sad not to have exciting adventures to go on, I want to make the most of the beauty that surrounds our home and town, and go on some nice day trips here and there with the kids. I’m also lucky to have a few friends in town with pools and generous offers to pop by for a dip if the temps start to soar.

I had enrolled Marlowe and Major in some camps, but decided against them for now. With Mateo still pretty little, having the kids around lots of other kiddos every day just didn’t feel that safe to me. Plus, it made me a little weary of having them in camp all day with masked counselors and a temp check on the way in.  This is all GREAT procedure, and I have zero judgement of anybody sending their kids to camp this summer! Everyone needs to do what works for their family.

With Marlowe experiencing lots of anxiety as a result of the virus and lockdown,  I just don’t think camp with the precautions in place will be the best choice for her right now, as I think the safety measures would trigger her anxiety. I have to make sure I’m doing the best thing for Marlowe during this time in her life, while also factoring in our family dynamic with a newborn. All of my kids have loved playing and splashing in our yard, and I can’t wait to work some hikes and bike rides in to the mix!

Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags
Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags
Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags

I always make sure to bring masks for me and the kids when we are around others, and to only remove them when we can get a pretty good distance away from others. Even on the beach! I like to be more like double the “six foot” policy whenever possible.  I also have been living with hand sanitizer and wipes in my purse, and in the car to clean hands regularly. We then always wash with soap and water when we get home! I wash all our cloth masks after each use. 

But socializing is not off the table, and I want the kids to get to play with some of their friends again. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my own decisions on how to start back up again with playdates and hang time with the kids or close friends and family, and I’m going to share my views on it here. As with everything COVID-related, I plan to adjust my behaviors as new information (or fresh outbreaks) arise and to really keep in tune with what current recommendations are.  I’ve started having some socially-distanced cocktail hours with a girlfriend here and there, and they’ve been making me feel sane again. It’s amazing how much better it feels to speak with a girlfriend in person.  Our state is stating that the current guidelines are 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors in terms of gatherings. This still feels like a lot of people to me, so as summer goes on, I will probably stick to smaller groups.  I do plan to visit restaurants with outdoor seating who are respecting Connecticut guidelines for safe dining!

Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags
Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags

In terms of kid socializing, I want to start to do ultra small playdates for my kids (just my family and one other family) at first, with families that I know have been following guidelines and are thoughtful about wellness. I want to know that I am close enough with the parents that we can both be honest about how we are feeling physically, or if we feel uncomfortable.  I’m going to have these playdates happen outside whenever possible! It’s important to me not to normalize being worried to be around others for my kids’ sake, so I think that really limited exposure to our good friends in very small groups is a great way to get started with this. My kids have REALLY been missing their friends and hanging out with other kids, and I think Marlowe in particular could really benefit from a little interaction to get out of her own head. 

These are such strange and confusing times when it comes to keeping ourselves and our families safe and I’m trying my best to be mindful and careful, while also trying to get back to some little things that make me and my family feel sane and happy. It’s a hard line to walk! Summer is definitely not cancelled, but it will look VERY different, and I’m ok with that. I would love to hear how you are navigating Summer and the “opening up” while also feeling safe. Any tips?

Eva Amurri shares her summer plans
Photo by Julia Dags

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18 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Thank you for your post today! It made me feel so much better about getting and seeing people. We have yet to make play date plans, but have been asked multiple times. I’m thinking about doing one finally with another family I know has taken the same precautions as me. I hadn’t even considered going to the beach and parks, but I think it’s time to get. My kids really need some outdoor time and some social interactions. I may start with my family who is close by. Have a wonderful summer! We always seem to have our children close in time to each other, congratulations on your cutie, my youngest is 5.5 months now!

    06.16.20 Reply
    • Yes, I really feel like there is a way to start to feel a bit more normal while also being safe. It’s a tough line to walk but so necessary for some sanity! Congrats on your little one too! 🙂 xo

      06.16.20 Reply
  2. Julia says:

    What masks are you wearing here?

    06.16.20 Reply
    • I ordered from Buru! It’s a special ordering process and she picks the colorway for you!

      06.16.20 Reply
  3. Michelle says:

    Thank you for sharing! Wishing your family well! Would you mind sharing where your cute hat is from please?

    06.16.20 Reply
  4. Nicole says:

    Love this post (and the weaning one but my comment never went thru)! I had my second baby 3/3 so I’m in the same little baby boat as you and I appreciate how you addressed what works for your family may not be what everyone is doing and that it’s fluid and may change as new information comes about. Thanks for taking the time to share with us, I look forward to all things HEA.

    06.16.20 Reply
    • I’m sorry about your other comment! We actually did fix this, it was a security glitch for comments made from mobile :(. Fixed now thankfully!

      06.16.20 Reply
  5. Kate says:

    I think your way of approaching this whole “COVID summer“ is incredibly smart and healthy! I’m an Infection Control Practitioner in 🇨🇦 and I really appreciate your attitude of moving forward in a changed way. Life has to continue on (COVID is not going anywhere anytime soon) and it CAN if we are all acting responsibly and thoughtfully.

    06.16.20 Reply
  6. Hannah says:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective and what your family has decided to do this summer. I’m curious how you’re approaching visits with Kyle or other friends/family who live in New York City. I also live in Fairfield county and have friends who have been coming back and forth between their NYC apartments and friends or families houses in CT. Most are not taking public transportation (metro north) and when they are in NYC are staying in their apartments however I’m still a little nervous/weary about them visiting. I’ve had socially distant cocktails with a select group of friends in CT but it feels so exclusionary not also having socially distant drinks with friends who are coming and going from New York. Just curious to hear how you’re approaching this.

    06.16.20 Reply
    • Hi Hannah!

      Yeah, this is a tough one, obviously! It’s taken a lot of thought and coparenting conversation, since clearly the kids need to see their father, but he also lives in a high risk area. We’ve developed a system and set of guidelines for ourselves that we feel comfortable with. And of course if he is exposed to anybody who tests positive for COVID he will also get tested before potentially exposing us. So much of this is a grey area for so many people, so my feeling is that people have to really just do what they feel comfortable with. If that means extra precaution right now, that is totally ok! We are navigating the best we can just like everyone else, and I understand your hesitation. I think you should only do what feels ok for you.

      06.25.20 Reply
  7. Katherine says:

    I live outside of Boston and slowly starting to see a select group of friend. For the 4th we are headed to our family beach house and it will be nice to be with family (who has been social distancing). I have a 7 month old so am cautious however he will be starting back to day care in July. While I am very nervous I know they will do their best to keep him safe. My husband and I are both working full time at home and it has been so hard with him home. I think everyone needs to do what they are comfortable with and respect others decisions. Thanks for posting!

    06.17.20 Reply
    • That sounds like a great plan! I have some friends whose kids are in daycare also and they have also gone back and forth with how they feel about it. BUT just fyi they have both been blown away by how great the safety precautions have been at their daycares and they feel comfortable now that the kids are there. I hope that makes you feel better! xo

      06.25.20 Reply
  8. Blanca De Santos says:

    Thank you for your honesty and well thought out article. Just like you their are a lot of mommies out there that are thinking twice about everything. It is nice to read that we are not alone.

    06.17.20 Reply
  9. this good summer idea but mask is important stay safe

    06.21.20 Reply
  10. Beverly says:

    My daughter who is 10 will be having her first play date since this all started. After talking it over with my husband we decided it would be ok. It’s a family we know well and there will only be one child and my daughter. It will be outside and they will use the pool. I was afraid of her using the pool since kids get pretty close in the pool but I will be letting my daughter know that they really don’t need to be on top of one another since they will be ones in the pool. Hopefully they won’t be. But I do t want to make myself and her crazy over this. My daughter definitely needs to see a friend. But I do have some anxiety over this play date.

    06.25.20 Reply
  11. Madelyn says:

    I’m in a long distance relationship. I haven’t seen my boyfriend for 4 months. He’s in Oregon, I’m in Minnesota. We’re really struggling with how to safely see each other, especially since I have a 10 year old son and I live with my 67 year old mother. It’s so hard. I’m also struggling with how my 10 year old can safely see some of his friends, whose parents have ALL given up on social distancing. It’s all just so hard to figure out!

    06.25.20 Reply